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Monday, June 17, 2024

Brillante’s latest opus holds star-studded premiere

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Apag means feast in Kapampangan, and film enthusiasts celebrated the film’s premiere at The Block SM Cinema 2, SM City North Edsa. It was a gathering of celebrity A-listers, friends from the movie industry, and the media led by renowned filmmaker Brillante Mendoza and his mostly Kapampangan cast.

Apag, starring Coco Martin, Jaclyn Jose, Senator Lito Lapid, Gladys Reyes, Julio Diaz, Shaina Magdayao, Mercedes Cabral, Vince Rillon, and Mark Lapid, is one of the feature films at the 1st Summer Metro Manila Film Festivals which will run in SM cinemas and other theaters nationwide from April 8 to 18. 

From left: Coco Martin, Jaclyn Jose, Gladys Reyes, and Brillante Mendoza

A joint project of Center Stage Productions, SM Cinema, and SM City North Edsa, the premiere gave guests an exclusive screening of Mendoza’s latest masterpiece. 

Apag follows the story of a prominent Kapampangan restaurateur Rafael Tuazon (played by Coco Martin) making preparations for a feast when he figures in a vehicular accident that kills tricycle driver Matias. After escaping the scene in fear, his father Alfredo (Lito Lapid) sacrifices himself to the law in order to save him. Free but devoured by guilt Rafael attempts to make amends to the victim’s widow Nita (Gladys Reyes) – but no secret remains uncovered for long. 

Director Brillante Mendoza with the cast of ‘Apag’

No less than National Artist of the Philippines for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricky Lee and Solar Entertainment CEO and President Wilson Tieng, graced the event.  

Martin Macalintal from the French Embassy, former FDCP chairman Liza Diño, singer-songwriter Ice Seguerra, as well as Mendoza’s colleagues in the film industry directors Laurice Guillen, Louie Ignacio, Lawrence Fajardo, and Adolf Alix, Jr., were also present. 

SM’s Millie Dizon (left) with the director Brillante Mendoza

2019 MMFF Best Actor Allen Dizon, who starred in Mendoza’s award-winning Mindanao, was there along with actors Ricky Davao, Ina Feleo, William Lorenzo, Jean Saburit, Azenith Briones, Nico Locco, and Christine Bermas.

The film is about family, guilt, justice, and a human being’s capacity to sacrifice and forgive. 

Solar Entertainment CEO and President Wilson Tieng

“Apag is a foreshortened word from hapag kainan, meaning dining table. In a place where people gather to dine, the common table becomes a critical symbol of unity. The dining table is where the family lays down their food – a symbol of one’s labor of love – to be offered and exchanged for gratitude, empathy and ultimately to herald a celebration,” shared by the internationally acclaimed director.  It is also Mendoza’s tribute to Philippine culture, and his own Kapampangan roots and refreshingly highlights local food, religion, and family values. The cast also includes veteran stars Gina Pareño and Joseph Marco. 

Senator Lito Lapid (left) with Allen Dizon

Apag premiered at the Busan International Film Festival and has competed at Warsaw International Film Festival, World Film Festival of Bangkok, Vesoul International Film Festival and Asian Film Festival (South Korea) in 2022-2023. 

Liza Diño (left) and Ice Seguerra

Apag is produced by Hongkong International Film Festival Society and Center Stage Productions.

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